Offices and Housing “La Fortezza”
Büro Hoen architecten,
approx. 8’000 m²
Net floor area
offices 7’500 m², housing 15’500 m²
79’000 m³The site is located at a turning point on the central axis of the new area. It is a triangular lot, one side of which is formed by a street in the residential area and the other by the motorway. The issue of the corner is dealt with by use of a cylinder which, placed in the middle, articulates two linear volumes. The determination of uses is expressed by the volumetric composition, so that apartments are located in the cylindrical volume, while the offices are located in the two linear ones. In its tripartite articulation of surface, the design features deep cuts that reveal loggias and an ordered repetition of windows. The cylinder, being almost double the height of the linear volumes, becomes the focus. A squared courtyard is delineated within the cylinder. A “negative” space takes over the interior. Two large portals in front and a generous cut at the rear reveal the courtyard to the exterior [...] While the linear blocks exist to set a limit, to create a boundary for the site and to frame the perspective, the cylinder remains the center of gravity. Set firmly on the ground, it raises its height to create a focal point for the area. The antithesis between the massive volume of the cylinder and the linear blocks is further accentuated in the inner part of the composition. The linear façades become transparent at the ground floor level, while they retreat on the third floor, with only the zigzagged outline of the light roof to remind the viewer of their actual height.